Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 10h 40m 23s
Overall Rank = 219/2771
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 17/147
Pre-race routine:

Flew into AZ on Wednesday and got settled in. My dad came with me and we went over to the transition area to check it out that night. When I got there, it really sunk in that I was really there and that I would be racing soon. On Thursday, Elliot (elliot85) and I did a ride of the majority of the course and it was pretty windy. My hip flared up a bit at the beginning of the ride, but actually started to feel better as the ride went on. This made me a bit nervous to say the least, but I just tried to stay positive. After the ride, Elliot and I went over to the transition and registered. After we did that, the line was really short so we each got a quick massage. This ended up being a race changing event for me. I ended up getting a guy named Tom (he was actually a chiropractor) and I explained to him that I had been hit by a car about 5-6 weeks ago and that my hip wasn't in the best of shape. He then did a quick evaluation and had me do a few stretches and some lunges. After that, he pushed hard into the worst parts of my hip while I did a few different stretches. It hurt like HELL when we did this, but the results were incredible! I went back to him on Friday and we did the same thing. We let it rest on Saturday, but I truly believe this was critical to the success I had during the race. I'm really surprised that none of the massage therapists or especially my physical therapist didn't do anything like this during my PT sessions. Throughout the days before the race, I took it really easy most of the time and spent a good amount of time at the hotel resting.
Event warmup:

I went to bed around 8 Saturday night and slept until at least midnight. I woke up a few times but left pretty well until I woke up again at 2:30 and had a Kizos cake (all organic bars made locally in NH). I then went back to bed and drifted in and out of sleep until about 4:15 when I got up and a took a quick shower. My dad drove me over to transition and I got there just about at 5. I got my tires filled and got everything setup rather quickly, which gave me about an hour to do nothing. I just chatted with some people around transition and did a little stretching.
  • 1h 03m 30s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 30s / 100 yards

I got into the water as soon as they started letting people in and swim right up to close to the starting line. I did a few strokes to warm up and my head did feel cold while under water. However, after that, the water temperature was perfect and my body absolutely loved it. I started out in the 2nd row just about in the center and the start was really cool! Once the gun went off, the start was pretty crazy, but wasn't really as bad as I thought it was going to be. I certainly bumped into a few people, especially with the murky water, and I had to stop and a few times to figure which path would avoid contact the best, but it wasn't too bad. I was swimming close to people the majority of the time and there was some contact in different spots throughout the swim.

My goal was to take it super easy on the swim and I did exactly that. I just focused on my form and counted my strokes. I counted up to around 150 3 or 4 times. Besides that, the swim was relatively uneventful. As mentioned above, the water felt so great. There were a couple times that I noted to myself how awesome the water was.

I'm ecstatic about my swim time. I still am a little shocked I came out of the water that quickly. As I mentioned before, I was completely effortless in the water and was shooting for around a 1:07 swim time.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't change much about this swim. It was fantastic. However, the velcro strap at the top of my wetsuit came undone and it left me with a pretty bad rash on the back of my neck.
Transition 1
  • 03m 58s

Took it really easy during T1. The volunteers had my bag waiting for me as I turned the corner and since I didn't need to change, I just sat in a chair outside the changing room. I wore toe covers on my shoes so it took a few seconds to strap the bottom strap of my shoes, but it wasn't a big deal.

I hadn't ran with my shoes on before in a race because I have always started with my shoes on my bike, but it wasn't that bad. I did do a slight skid when I hit the concrete, but I played it cool.
What would you do differently?:

I could have jumped on my bike instead of stopping to get clip in, but that's about it.
  • 5h 32m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.23 mile/hr

Interesting conditions on the ride. During my training rides on the course (Thursday and Friday), there was a headwind on the way out of town and a tailwind on the way back. However, it was the opposite on race day. I guess I liked this better as it helped you climb the up hills, but the wind was a serious factor. I'm sure exactly what the wind speeds were, but I would guess it was around 15-20, but it got worse as the day went on.

I did my best to take it really easy on the first lap and I did do a good job of that. I did start the ride with a cramp in my right side, which I'm pretty sure was caused by my bladder being full. I had to pee during the swim and I tried to go on the bike a few times during the first lap, but just couldn't make it happen. I tried to lap my data on the Powertap, but apparently I didn't do it right. However, I think my avg power was around 203ish for the first lap. Overall, a good amount of people passed me on the first lap, but I saw most of them later in the day. It was fun riding through town and I kept a smile on my face most of the time.

Finally on the way out of town on the second lap I was able to pee. This was a nice relief and did help with the cramp. The wind did pick up and I picked up the pace a little during this lap. I peed again on the way back into town. After I finished peeing the second time, a guy rode by me a told my pee was rooster tailing up in the air, lol. This lap went well. Normally at around mile 70ish, I my hip flexors start to scream a little, but they didn't so I was really happy about that.

The wind picked up even more on lap 3, but I pushed a little harder on this lap. My butt started getting quite sore so I did get off the saddle quite a bit, but still stayed aero and did my best to keep my power consistent. I stayed in my aero bars basically the entire race. My shoulders started getting quite sore, but it I just pushed through. This really helped me maintain my speed and was really important because of the wind on the way out and the way out and on the downhills on the way back. I peed again on the way back into town in hopes of eliminating the need to stop on the run.

Hydration wise, I drank Powerade Perform the entire race. I used my Speedfil which worked AWESOME! I grabbed a bottle of Perform at each aid station, except the last one and topped off my Speedfil. I switched between half a Cliff bar and 3 Cliff Blocks every 45 minutes. Despite the cramp that I had when I started the bike, I think this worked well for me.

I am very happy with my power output. My goal was to average 205 watts which is exactly what I did.
What would you do differently?:

It would have been great if there was less wind out there because as mentioned, it had a big effect on my speed. Nonetheless, I'm pretty happy with my ride.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

As soon as I stepped off my bike, the cramp in the right side of my stomach kicked back in hard! This made me quite nervous to say the least! However, I just kept on going and went back to the chair section outside of the changing tent and did my thing as I didn't need to change. Like T1, I took my time and made sure I tried to avoid getting any grass in my socks or shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Pretty happy with T2.
  • 3h 58m 55s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 07s  min/mile

So its all about the run, right? Well my run did not start off good and mentally I was freaking out a bit. However, I did my best to stay positive and hoped that my positive thoughts would help get the cramp to go away. I also really did my best to try to go as slow as possible. However, as you can see from my splits, it looks like I came out too fast, especially considering I had a cramp.

The first lap certainly wasn't going as planned and I really wasn't sure what to do. I just kept trying to focus on taking it slow, which I thought would be around 8:30 miles. So due to the cramp, I was going even slower and had the cramp almost entire first lap. Just before the getting to the bridge, Elliot passed me looking great. I told him he looked great and when he asked me how I was doing, I told him not so great. Seeing him looking so strong was bitter sweet. I was happy he was doing well and I had been waiting/expecting for him to pass me, but it made me freak out even more about my cramping issue.

Throughout the first lap, I couldn't figure out if I was hungry or it was GI for taking in too much. I was leaning towards me being hungry so I decided to take a risk and try eating some banana. Normally, I only take in gels when I run, but at this point, I felt I needed to try something else. I also normally drink Gatorade or a sports drink during the run, but I went with water the entire first lap in hopes that it would help settle my stomach. My heart rate was ridiculously low because my slow pace. I knew this could work to my advantage if I could just get rid of that darn cramp.

All the sudden on the back stretch of the first lap, my cramp started to go away. I was really excited and was able to pick up the pace a little. However, I knew not to go too fast because it would probably come back to haunt me. Since I had good results with the banana, I kept stuck with eating a piece (about 1/3 of a banana) at each aid station and washed it down with some water. My cramp would creep out a little bit every once in a while, but it never got too bad after that first lap. I saw Coach Rich from Endurance Nation around Mile 18 (for the people on lap 3) and said hello as he reminded me to keep it slow and steady. I listened to him and the rest of lap 2 was relatively uneventful. I just kept plugging away and my legs felt great.

I will admit that the 2nd lap was kind of tough mentally because it lacks motivation. The first lap is exciting because its your first loop and the 3rd lap is very exciting because its your last, but the 2nd lap is just something you have to get through. I do remember passing the mile 13 mile marker and being pretty happy to about half way. My legs felt pretty darn good and really weren't very fatigued. My cramp stayed away and I was happy about that and it made for a much easier lap than the first.

As soon as I got on the 3rd lap, my smile got a little bigger and I was eagerly awaiting Mile 18. When I got there, Coach Rich wasn't there, but a few of the other EN members were there and they told me I looked great. Since I'm a big believer in their philosophies, I was really interested to see how I would feel at this point. They always talk about getting to mile 18 and then just focusing on getting to the next telephone pole and some kind of recognizable object on the course from then on. Fortunately, I never needed to do this. Sure, I was tired, but I wasn't exhausted. By this point, I knew I was going to finish and now I just wanted to focus on doing my best to finish my marathon in under 4 hours. I wasn't positive what exactly my overall time was, but I knew a sub 4 hour marathon would put me well under 11 hours, which was my goal coming into the race.

The smiles continued the rest of the way through. After passing mile 18, I was really looking forward to mile 20 as I knew at that point, I was only a 10K away from finishing and it would just be nice to be in the 20's. After mile 20, I just kept on plugging. I continued to stop at the aid stations and walked the last bit of each one. The deeper I got into the race, the more incredible walking felt, but there was no way I was going to walk for more than 20 seconds at each station. My next goal was to get across the bridge and get myself to the home stretch. At that point, my smile was ear to ear and I knew all I had to do was keep up a sub 10 minute mile pace and I had a sub 4 hour run in the bag.

As the finishing chute got closer, I was just really hoping to see my Dad as I hadn't seen him since I headed out of the water and had been wondering where he was. Sure enough, as I got closer to the left turn onto the finishing chute, I saw him in the crowd and he yelled to me. I put my hands up and told him to hurry to the finish line.

As I got a little ways down the chute I looked behind me to see if anyone else was finishing and I couldn't see anyone. I knew this was my time in the spotlight and wanted to enjoy it. As I took the final left turn and saw the finish, I started to get really emotional and I thought about how many times I had visualized this in my mind. It was finally here! I thought that tears were going to start falling, but for some reason they didn't and I really don't know why. However, as the crowd start to get louder, I decided to give one final kick and finished strong and with a monster smile. What a feeling!!! I was an IRONMAN!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Despite thinking I was going out slow on the first lap, in particular, the first 6 miles, I went too fast. My pace left me very little chance to ditch my cramp. I would definitely slow it down if this happened again.

I'm not disappointed my any means with my run split, but hopefully it will be faster next time.
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I saw Chrissie Wellington to my left and she was putting a foil blanket around me, which was really cool. After that, I walked a few more steps and I saw my Chiropractor buddy Tom. We chatted for a few and I thanked him for all his help. I honestly don't think my race would have went the way it did without him. After that, I headed over to the Ironman photo area and got a picture by myself, one with Tom, and then after a little trouble getting him in, my Dad.

After the photos, I headed over to the massage area and got a quick massage. It felt great, but that could have just been because I got a chance to lay down. After that, I scarfed down a few slices a pizza and went to find my Dad so we could grab my bike and bags.

After the race, I was freezing! I loaded on some layers, but had a hard time warming up. After we got all my stuff, my Dad and I went over to Chipotle and I had a burrito. We then went back to the hotel and I jumped in the shower, which felt great.

I was strongly considering going back to watch some other people finish, but I made the mistake of laying down for a minute after my shower. As soon as I did that, I wasn't getting up.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Getting get hit by a car on my bike about 5 and half weeks out from the race definitely didn't help to say the least. This really limited my training from that point until race day. However, seeing how I basically didn't have any pain in my hip on race day, I couldn't be happier as that was simply not expected to say the least.

The only issue I had during the race was the cramp on the right some of my stomach that I felt on both the bike and the run. It didn't affect my bike split at all, but definitely wasn't good for my run. I would think I would have dropped at least 10 minutes off my marathon time if I didn't run into that issue.

Event comments:

Its really crazy writing this race report and thinking about how much my life has changed since I committed myself to becoming an Ironman and living the triathlon lifestyle. I just want to thank all my family and friends for helping me make this possible. I couldn't have done it without you! I didn't believe it when I heard it before, but the hardest part of doing an Ironman really is getting to the starting line. Getting hit by the car really threw me for a loop physically and even more mentally. However, I just stayed positive as I could and knew it was all just going to be part of my journey. I'll end my report with the slogan on the front of an Ironman t-shirt I got for my Mom after the race; Anything is Possible!!!! :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-11-30 12:00 AM
01:03:30 | 4224 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
Age Group: 25/147
Overall: 261/2771
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Helix Full body
Course: 1 loop that was very close to a rectangle in Tempe Town Lake
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:58
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:32:06 | 112 miles | 20.23 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/147
Overall: 229/2771
Performance: Average
Lap 1: 1:52:13 (37 miles) Lap 2: 1:49:03 (37 miles) Lap 3: 1:50:50 (38 miles) Avg HR: 153 Max HR: 169 Avg Power: 205
Wind: Strong
Course: 3 out and back loops that are relatively flat. There is a slight incline on the way out on the beeline and a slight downhill on the way back.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 82
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:54
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:58:55 | 26.2 miles | 09m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/147
Overall: 219/2771
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 152 Max HR: 168 Mile Splits: 1: 8:18 2: 8:42 3: 8:48 4: 8:38 5: 8:55 6: 9:01 7: 10:20 8: 9:37 9: 8:52 10: 8:37 11: 9:01 12: 8:59 13: 9:11 14: 9:07 15: 9:12 16: 9:02 17: 9:12 18: 9:17 19: 9:24 20: 9:38 21: 9:15 22: 9:04 23: 9:32 24: 8:57 25: 8:52 26: 9:26
Course: Three figure 8 loops around the Tempe Town Lake. Almost completely flat with one hill in the middle on Curry St.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5